By Blake Hampton
From sliding polls to poorly timed tweets and outrage from the right wing of the Liberal base, Malcolm Turnbull’s honeymoon as Prime Minister lasted all of a few weeks.
On the eve of the latest Budget to be released on Tuesday evening, Bill Shorten is edging closer in the election stakes leading into a reported July 2nd showdown.
The Queensland Times recently published new results illustrating that Labor have pulled ahead of the Coalition 52-48 in the two-party preferred system, making the most of a government unsure of it’s true identity.
Since ousting Tony Abbott, Turnbull removed the “captain’s calls” and PR disasters of the former conservative leader to replace them with incoherent messages that fail to follow a concise direction.
After his grilling on negative gearing by Leigh Sales on the 7.30 program, the Prime Minister has continued his ploy of sending out mixed signals.
On one hand, he is torn between pulling his government away from the hardline right his predecessor was so widely detested for, but needing to satisfy the centre-right that put him in the job.
Something of a pre-Budget spoiler emerged throughout Turnbull’s spruiking of the announcement on television; targeting the top 1% in order to balance the books.
High income earners will expect a bigger hit in the superannuation stakes, a direct contradiction to the Abbott government’s refusal to impose any sort of sanctions on the wealthiest of Australians to pay their fare share of concessions.
For a leader so readily identified with being out of touch and elitist, this is a coy political move to try and regain a modicum of popular support for the majority of the disenfranchised electorate whom would usually pivot to Labor.
Yet for all the talk of change brought about by the spill, the Liberal Party is not heeding the lessons from their counterparts across the aisle.
Many of the same faces in the cabinet remain, namely George Brandis, Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton, Greg Hunt, Christopher Pyne, Barnaby Joyce and a collection of other under-performing ministers that are reliable for a faux pas.
Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business Kelly O’Dwyer demonstrated last month why a leopard cannot change it’s spots.
Turnbull’s new hardline approach might have garnered a round of applause in certain circles, but the supposed crackdown on the banking class appears to be less than skin deep.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported last month that one of O’Dwyer’s political fundraisers were directly sponsored by the NAB bank, a revelation that came amidst the government attempting to justify a failure to investigate the industry’s malpractice through a royal commission.
The Liberal Party may well have revelled watching the Killing Season with a bucket of popcorn and glass of wine last year, but if their current trajectory is any indication, all they are doing is laying the groundwork for a second installment.